Ultimate Guide to Wonder World Cave, Texas (Tours, Pricing, History, Map)
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Wonder World Cave is the 1st show cave in Texas opened to the public. The cave is, as per reports, the only commercially operated dry cave in the US. It is known as a dry-formed cave as the fissure was opened by an earthquake and not by erosion. The quake had produced the Balconies fault, and the fault is visible in the cave ceiling.
What is a Show Cave?
A show cave — also called a tourist cave, public cave, and in the United States, commercial cave — is a cave that has been made accessible to the public for guided visits.
Wonder World Cave, Texas
The original name of the cave was Bevers Cave, after Mark Bevers, who discovered the cave in 1893. The cave came quite handy for him as it managed to conceal the illegal gambling and distilling enterprises of Bever! Today, the cave is home to Wonder World Amusement Park, with an in-house wildlife park.
History of Wonder World Cave
Wonder World Cave is the 1st show cave in Texas that provides a lot of fun and entertainment for the entire family. The Wonder Cave was discovered in 1893 by a cowboy and freight hauler named Mark A. Bevers. He was settled in San Marcos in 1882, and he found the cave while drilling for water in an area that is now the Wonder World Cave & Park parking lot. Today, you will find a state historical marker designating the site where he was drilling for water.
In 1903 W.S. Davis took control of the cave and started operating it as a tourist attraction. He charged a fee of 10 cents for the candle and guided tour. The cave ultimately became the property of Judge Will G. Barber, who lived on a hill just north of the cave.
The property was sold to Arthur B. Rodgers by Judge Barber in 1916 for a fee of USD 50, a gray horse, and a saddle. Mr. Rodgers renamed the cave Wonder Cave and installed electric lighting, handrails, and gravel paths.
In 1955 Ralph Marker leased the cave from the son of Rodgers. Mr. Marker successfully started an advertising campaign for the cave, and it helped boost the business so much that he had to increase the cave operations.
In 1958 Paul Rodgers sold the cave to a local family, and the present-day Wonder World Cave and Adventure Park have been family-oriented ever since.
Geological Cave Formations in Wonder World Cave
It is an earthquake cave and does not boast any noteworthy geological features inside.
Wildlife in Wonder World Cave
The Wonder World Petting Park lets you come close to various wildlife species such as deer, rabbits, ostrich, exotic birds, hens, and other cute-looking domestic animals. You can even feed these creatures as they walk around in their area.
Also, one will come across an occasional spider or cricket that can go through the elevator shaft. The black and white salamander is the only indigenous creature you will ever find here if you are looking for natural wildlife.
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Is Wonder World Cave Haunted?
The Wonder World cave is not haunted in the true sense of the term, but there is a haunted cave tour that is very popular among people of all ages. The tour will let you learn about the untold stories with a dark side and watch the cave come back to life!
How Big is Wonder World Cave?
The walking tour covers an approximate distance of 1 mile. The estimated length of the Wonder Cave is 395m or1/4th mile.
Wonder Cave Tours
Have you ever got an opportunity to explore an earthquake from deep inside the earth? Then it would help if you visited the Balconies Fault Line Cave at Wonder World, which is the only natural earthquake cave open for viewing. The tour guides are thoroughly trained to tell you stories of the past geological eras of the Earth’s history.
The cave also offers fossilized prehistoric life encased in various strata formations and huge boulders suspended in mid-air. The Wonder Cave is unique and markedly different from other show caves and gives lots of fun for all age groups. The best part of this cave is that it can be enjoyed any time of the year as it is not affected by the weather conditions.
There are a few other rooms in the cave which are not covered by the tour. You can explore these rooms independently, but you would require flashlights, hardhats, and rope. It is recommended that all visitors wear non-skid shoes as it is a complete walking tour. The cave is not wheelchair-friendly or accessible by strollers.
Please remember that cave has steep stairs that go up and down throughout the length of the tour. The tour is not recommended for people recovering from leg or heart complications and surgeries. For the convenience of the visitors, there are railings and lightings throughout the cave, and there are also seating options along the way.
Wonder World Cave Tour Prices and Discounts
There are different types of tickets which are as follows –
All in One Ticket – It is the most popular choice among all the visitors.
- Adults – USD 27.95
- Youth – USD 18.95
- Child (0 – 3 years) – USD 5
If you are interested in visiting only the caves, you may opt for the Cave Only tickets.
- Adults – USD 19.95
- Youth – USD 13.95
Is Wonder World Cave Cold?
The Wonder World Cave has a temperature of 72 degrees throughout the year.
What to Wear?
It is recommended that all visitors wear closed-toed shoes or any comfortable walking shoes. It is a dry cave, but occasional rains can create wet floors and puddles of water. If you are coming on a hot summer day, wear loose, breathable clothing for your comfort.
Wonder World Cave Hours
The hours differ from season to season, but the general operating hours are 11 am to 5 pm.
What to Do at Wonder Cave (Beside Tours)
After a caves tour, you can have a great time at Adventure Park. You can hop on the train that will take you to the Texas Wildlife Petting Zoo. It is a great way to enjoy feeding and petting the live inhabitants. Deer feed and refreshments for dinner are available for purchase at the train station. The train tickets cost USD 9.50 pp, and children under three years are admitted free.
It is a great and fun place to be as things that go up do not always come down here, and water flows uphill!
After you exit the cave, you need to travel 190 ft upward to see the beautiful views of the Balconies Fault Line Cave. There is the Observation Tower from where one can see the Gulf Coastal Plains dividing points that form the major geographical landmarks of the state.
If you want to test your skills by playing some classic games, you must come down to the Arcade Room. You can play iconic games like Pac-Man and Fuse-ball and have a great time together with your families and friends.
The Wonder World Cave gift store has a wide range of gifts and toys that have been specially designed to appeal to the imagination of visitors of all ages. You can browse through a wonderful selection of rocks, imaginative toys, and souvenirs from all around the world.
The Wonder World offers gem mining for all guests. Just buy a bucket of sand and sift through it to find out the hidden treasures, and you are sure to get surprised by what you discover.
Best Time to Visit Wonder Cave
You can come here during the weekends as the park is open for private groups only from Monday to Thursday.
How to Get to Wonder World Park
The entrance to the Wonder World Cave is one mile SW from the county courthouse in San Marcos. To be more precise, it is a few minutes away from I-35 in San Marcos, between San Antonio and Austin.
Hotels near Wonder World Cave
The Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott is an excellent choice for a hotel if you are looking for someplace to rest after the Wonder World Cave & Adventure Park tour.
Visiting Wonder World Cave
Do you need more information before visiting Wonder World Cave? Call (512) 392 – 6711 or email Wonder World Park for an information packet.
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